Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Google Chrome Review

I've been using Google Chrome for a while now off and on, and I am impressed. The first release version has even made some improvements over the last Beta release. Chrome seems to be a lightweight, fast, and overall user friendly browser. They have also added full bookmark support which is a big improvement. Also I have to admit some of the key features of Chrome, namely the all-in-one address / search bar and the dynamic homepage that displays your most visited pages. Some bloggers are complaining of missing plug-in or browser compatibility issues but this not something that I have run into so far.....

There are some things about Chrome that I think still need work. First off, I think I still prefer Firefox because of the wide array of extensions and add-ons that are available. In particular the Foxmarks bookmark synchronizer that allows me to keep my bookmarks no matter which of my numerous machines I happen to log in to. Recently I saw on Foxmarks site they are "working on" a version for Chrome... so who knows. Also to really gain my full support the browser needs to be cross-platform. Google needs to develop Linux, Mac, and other versions to make Chrome available to all users.

All in all my current outlook is somewhat more optimistic than in my earlier Chrome beta post. I think Google has done a good job of listening to the people and working out some of the early bugs. I would defiantly recommend Chrome and think it is here to stay.

Posted by:
Josh Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Top Picks

Here is a short list of some of my favorite products and manufactures:

Best OS: Ubuntu

Best Antivirus Software: Avast AV

Best OEM Manufacture: HP

Best Free Webmail Host: Gmail

Best Search Engine: Google

Best Browser: Firefox

Best Media Printer: HP Laserjet

Best Hard Drives: Western Digital

Best Video Adapters: ATI

Best Motherboards: ECS

Posted By:
Josh Nicholes
www.joshinicholes.com

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Impression of Songbird

A few days ago Mozilla made available for release Songbird 1.0 its new media player and potential iTunes killer. I gave it a brief test drive today and I have to say that initially I am impressed. I have been a fan of both the Firefox web-browser and Thunderbird Mail client since their releases and again Mozilla has impressed me. True its still a little rough around the edges, but give it a chance.. I think you'll like it.

First off, its a truly cross-platform app that works on Windows, Linux, and Mac unlike iTunes which supports no Linux version. It has integrated into it a huge collection of extent ions and feathers (skins) which will only continue to expand. Just like Firefox these add-ons can greatly extend the functionality and customizability of the app. It has has built right into it many of the great features of Firefox that we all know and love. It appears to have great support for a range of mobile mp3 devices and has some nice features like streaming media from the web and the ability to play a wide range of media formats.

However there are a few things missing. Some pretty important things. First off, no ability to rip CD's to the library. Maybe worse than that, no ability to burn media files to disk. Until these features are added many users may not want to switch from iTunes. Personally I really hope that they get these features added soon. It really annoys me that Apple all but forces you to install Safari or some of their other software if your an iTunes user. I also love to be able to use the same app no matter what OS I'm using. I defiantly think that we haven't heard the last of Songbird.

Posted By:
Josh Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Art of SEO

Although I put my very first and rather crude webpage on the internet back in 1999 it hasn't been till recent years that I really cared if my web site was listed in search engines. However, what I have learned from those experiences is that search engine optimization is truly an art that can take years to master. Believe me I still have a lot to learn. There is so much content out there competing for that #1 spot and keywords alone just don't cut it.

Modern search engines have evolved right alongside the rest of the net and they use a variety of techniques and algorithms to rank and catalog web content. These include the number of sites that contain link to a particular site, the frequency the content is updated, and the overall popularity of the site and its content compared to similar sites to name just a few.

In order to be #1 and most importantly stay #1 your content needs to be the best it can be and it needs to stay fresh and current. Here are a few tools I have found to help you improve your sites rank in search engines. GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS - a great way to get your content listed in google and learn a little about how google sees your content. XML Sitemaps - a great tool to generate and easily update sitemaps. SEO Centro - this is suite of tools that allows you to analyze various aspects of your site including meta tags, keywords, and your page rank and makes suggestions on what you need to do to improve. Finally, the greatest tool of all... patience. Understand that you will not get listed overnight complete indexing and ranking takes weeks or even moths.

SEO is important in order to drive traffic to your site. Most of us know that every web journey starts from google, yahoo, or msn. I use google search everyday to find what I'm looking for. Take a little time to work on SEO and help improve your chances of being found. Good luck.

Posted by:
Josh Nicholes
www.joshnicholes.com